Much has been written about this Bassano… She would have been between 26 and 31 years old at the time. The inference is that Emilia Bassano was a Blackamoor, (Thanks to Lev Verkhovsky for finding it and suggesting the possibility.) Mama Kelly's 10th great-grandfather was Jeronimo Bassano, a musician and instrument maker who was born in the town of Bassano del Grappa, near Venice, Italy. In 2014, he published Shakespeare’s Dark Lady: Amelia Bassano Lanier, ... and the father is now called Baptista (the name of Bassano’s father). origin—like the author Amelia Bassano Lanier at the Elizabethan court.) Jewish use of window space to look out was judged blasphemous, with Jews accused of “committing irreverent acts against Christ and Christians” (76). Stephanie Hopkins Hughes, 'New Light on the Dark Lady' Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter, 22 September (2000). The above portrait has been shared around the world as a depiction of Emilia Bassano after being published on Facebook by Ansell Ortell in 2015, with the assertion that Emilia was the sole author of the Shakespearean works. Emilia Lanier (also spelt Aemilia or Amelia Lanyer, 1569–1645), née Bassano, was an English poet in the early modern era. Amelia Bassano Lanier, a poet in Queen Elizabeth’s court who featured in some of Shakespeare’s sonnets as “The Dark Lady”, is the name in the frame. Image public domain. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. My great-grandmother Mama Kelly (Mary Pearl Harrison Kelly) had a really interesting family tree that can be traced way back to Renaissance Italy. P.134-1910) has also been suggested as a portrait of Amelia or Emilia Bassano, born Lanier. She was the first Englishwoman to assert herself as a professional poet, through a single volume of poems, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611). The Countess's sons were referenced in literature, as well; William may be the young man alluded to in Shakespeare's Sonnets, and Ben Jonson also dedicated a collection of epigrams to him. Victoria & Albert Museum, London. John Hudson, 'Amelia Bassano Lanier: A New Paradigm', The Oxfordian 11 (2008): 65–82. 1590. But a picture by Nicholas Hilliard, the most celebrated of English miniaturists, on display in the V&A's British Galleries may hold the key. Descriptive line Portrait miniature of an unknown woman, watercolour on vellum, painted by Nicholas Hilliard, ca. A portrait miniature of Amelia Bassano Lanyer/Lanier. But however we read Shylock’s portrait—and there is scholarly debate on the issue—the author wouldn’t have to be a Jew or even have associated with any Jews to create Shylock. David Lasocki and Roger Prior, The Bassanos: Venetian Musicians and Instrument makers in England 1531–1665 (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1995). Another miniature by Nicholas Hilliard in the V&A’s collection (museum no. Could the portrait of the Semitic-looking "Unknown Lady" at the top of this page, painted by Isaac Oliver (c. 1595-1600), be of Emilia Bassano Lanyer? For all the 24-hour surveillance and gate-locking, the Venetian ghettos were porous, as the